The original photo is of a group of Hostas with their flowers almost ready to bloom. I focused on one of the “pre-flowers” because it looked like it sort of had open arms and I could do some things with it.

Hosta - September 12, 2013 - 0228

In the second photo, I cropped the photo to focus on the opened-armed flower. I used Photoshop and as well as Topaz Lab’s ReStyle Plug-in to make the Hosta “Pre-flower” look like a star performer. perhaps at the end of a song and dance routine an adoring audience.

Backyard - September 12, 2013 - 010-(Wheat and Bluebonnets)


The final photo uses principally the “pre-flower” element from the original photo (selected using Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tool, Lasso Tool and cloning tool for clean up) along with some background from the Filter Forge filter mentioned below. The flower’s coloring was revised and enhanced using Topaz Lab’s ReStyle filter. Applying “The Epic Perspective Filter” available using Filter Forge (they are available on the website at no added charge; filters are primarily created by Filter Forge users), I made the pre-flower “star” into what might be many things from a quirky photo of part of a Hosta to what might be a stylized metaphor of a publicity shot or commentary on the ego accompanying stardom? Most likely, it was just me having fun:).

Hosta Epic - September 12, 2013 - 0228

I hope you enjoy my first contribution to Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge: Macro and/or Close-up.

  1. Sonel says:

    I was so shocked to see I missed this beautiful post of yours Rob and then I saw that the link did not come through to me as it was linked to Cee’s post, but no matter – I am glad I saw it now and it’s stunning! I love the edits and glad to see you were having fun. Thanks so much for taking part and for sharing. Much appreciated. 😀


  2. seeker says:

    Amazing what all those gizmo can do. So I suppose, most of the photos I see on the paper are not really original as taken. This does stop me for appreciating your genius. BTW, I notice your site is not beluga but actually When did this happen.


    • beluga53 says:

      Thanks for your comments. You are almost certainly right. Most photos you see have been tweaked at least a bit and sometimes a great deal. As an example, I have always been surprised to see photos of actors and models in real life as opposed to what they look like in other photos.
      I didn’t study art and haven’t studied photography academically but I know great photographers like Ansel Adams spent hours and hours in the darkroom tweaking his prints to get just the look he wanted. I think the digital darkroom gives photographers the tools of the trade at a cost in time and effort that is dwarfed by what that Adam’s paid to earn his expertise. While many of the tools we now have available are beyond anything Adams could have imagined I don’t know that the photos are any better as a result of these tools but they are more fun and vastly easier to use and that is a huge plus for me.
      FYI, my site is both the beluga53 site and the POV site. I actually added the POV name very shortly after I created my site. It is kind of a pseudonym that WordPress provides for a small fee. I liked the ability to tell people my site was since that was how I “branded” my site. However, is just another name for my site.


      • seeker says:

        Surpise, surpise and I am more surprise re-reading my comment. There is a world missing between does and stop. The word not: does NOT stop… Ansel Adams, eh. There is a chinese fellow who can “paint” just using Excel program; Imagine that. And he is self taught just like you. Maybe, i’ll start playing around with the “paint” app in the computer and see where it will take me.

        So is the .com better than


      • beluga53 says:

        My fingers have a way of typing things that I am not thinking so I understood what you intended, though there is no genius here. I am really much more like a child with a toy box. I like to play and experiment and have fun. If you are interested, there are a variety of free photo editing possibilities:

        As to the .com thing, my motivation was twofold: (1) I liked it more principally because it was simpler and reinforced the name of my site; and (2) my other address was too awkward. I do not know if .com is better generally or not for a blog.


      • seeker says:

        Thank you so much! Let’s see how I can bend this mind.


      • beluga53 says:

        Just play with it and have some fun.


  3. Amanda Lakey says:

    Superbly done! Welcome to the challenge, I love the effects you created. 🙂


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